Uganda trip: Part II

We woke up the next morning to a beautiful view on top of a hill overlooking Lake Victoria.

By Laurie MacKay

Posted August 3, 2012

(Reporter’s note: June 13, 12 members of the New Hope Uganda Mission Team left Baker on a bus to Denver to begin the long flight half-way around the world to Musana Camps near Kampala, Africa. Members of the team were John and DeeDee Geving, Pastors Bruce and Reba Kolasch, Laurie MacKay, Robin Menger, Buster Pickett, Rod and Patti Morris, JoDee Pratt, Roy and Melissa Rost.

After arriving and a night’s rest, we began a week long adventure at the camp.)

We woke up the next morning to a beautiful view on top of a hill overlooking Lake Victoria in the midst of the jungle which had been cleared near the buildings. Orientation followed and a tour of the present camp and future hopes for the site which included a kitchen, clinic, soccer field, conference hall, and challenge course.

The team hoped to raise $5,000 for camp projects and due to the generosity of many of the local people of Fallon County, the funds grew to $7,000 which was sent over prior to the mission trip so supplies for the construction projects could be purchased. We went to work and spent the week building a steel fence, cutting steel and welding them together for a house, the clinic rafters, and a ping pong table. A brick house, which was built for staff members, needed to be primed and painted, and signs were also painted. These projects were intermingled with a few different hikes.

June 16, we enjoyed a very informal church service which was based on God the Father, as it was Father’s Day.

There was a fishing village just down the hill from the camp which we visited. On our way there we toured a maize (corn) field. The monkeys are very destructive to the crop. Civilians are not allowed to have guns, including BB guns, so what the camp people use is a man and a horn stationed in the middle of the field to scare the monkeys away. Due to amount of times we heard the horn blow, I don’t think the method was very effective.

About 200 people lived in the fishing village. The children were the first to greet us with smiles and laughter. Some were shy, but most were eager to tell us about themselves and were interested in us and our cameras. There was a small church on the edge of the village with a cross on it, which indicated they were Christian. Again, most of the houses were without doors and windows. There was one house that had a satellite television dish on it.

The fishermen told us they fish for different fish, some during the day and some at night. (What we thought was the lights of a town were actually lots of fishing boats with their lanterns, fishing at night.) They caught perch, tilapia, and there were very small fish that were called silver fish that are netted and put in the boat to about one-half to three-fourths full. They are then brought to shore and spread on a large section of what appears to be lava rock to dry in the sun. They are then gathered and put in sacks and sold to be used as a source of protein in sauces or sprinkled on top of food. They smelled very fishy.

The climate was about 80 degrees with a light cloud cover. It was the end of the rainy season, so it rained every day and the soil was red clay which the rain didn’t soak into.

The food was very simple, like beans and rice or maize. There was a woman, Mama Rose, who walked one and one-half hours to and from camp to help cook. She made us a Ugandan meal one evening which was boiled potatoes, meat sauce made with cubes of beef over rice and cooked cabbage (like beef stew over rice). Bananas and pineapple were plentiful and very good. Pineapple, which was in season while we were there, is planted and grows under the ground and takes two years to produce a fruit.

We hiked to a waterfall one afternoon. The path was slippery and had to be cleared by Ugandan men and Buster Pickett with machetes. It had been a while since anyone had journeyed on the trail. We noticed along the way, vanilla beans, a coffee plant, many different species of trees and plants and older gardens, and the end of the destination a beautiful waterfall.

After a week of working at Musana Camp, we loaded up in a chartered bus and traveled on hair-raising roads to Kasana Children’s Centre. Again, the roads were very rough and full of people using all modes of transportation. The indoor plumbing and beds were very much appreciated.